2009 Best in Class Awards
|· Diet & Energy||· Post-Workout/Recovery|
|· Mass Building||· Joint Support|
|· Premium Proteins||· Weight Gainers|
|· Protein Bars||· Multi-Vitamins & Minerals|
|· Meal Replacements||· Ready-To-Drink|
|· Testosterone Boosters||· Herbs/Specialty|
Diet & Energy
Recently, weight-loss technologies have gone from the one-dimensional stimulant-based fat incinerators (which unfortunately have a propensity to burn muscle as well) to the inclusion of multi-pathway technologies. A few weight loss products now forgo the stimulants altogether, while others offer a more subtle alertness and incorporate advanced technologies from patented extracts and highly advanced compounds. At the heart of these new formulas are ultra bioactive botanicals that have been highly processed to offer results quicker and more effectively than anything since the banned 'fat-burning legends of yesterday'.
The Ultimate Rapid Weight-Loss Super Pill
Of all the products we've added to our catalog in over a decade, few have been as instantly and tremendously popular as BetaStax from BioQuest. This fat-burning thermogenic powerhouse has made a huge impact with a proprietary matrix of ultra-bioactive, premium-grade energy factors that provide for a dramatic energy rush that you literally can feel within minutes. Many bodybuilders are comparing this explosive energizing rush to the kind produced by the previous generation of high powered 'fat-burning legends of yesterday'-based thermogenics. However, BetaStax appears to offer two major advantages which make it far superior to those products. More specifically, it delivers its extraordinary energy surge without nervousness or jitters, and equally important, it's not followed by the dreaded crash typical with 'fat-burning legends of yesterday' based thermogenics. This profound effect sets BetaStax apart from anything we've tested before, but it gets even better. At the same time, BetaStax triggers a significant appetite suppression effect achieved by way of diminished postprandial glycemic load and subsequent enhanced release of the neuro-hormone Cholescystokinin (CCK), which has been linked to weight-loss efficacy.
Working synergistically, these physiological processes have the power to promote statistically significant weight-loss in as early as two weeks, as documented in a landmark clinical study conducted by independent medical researchers at a major American university.
In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study1, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of the main active ingredient in BetaStax.1 Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic panel, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. The results were astounding. According to the researchers, the consumption of 250 mg prior to two major meals daily resulted in significantly greater reduction in body weight, waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment as early as 2 weeks and continuing up to 4 weeks.
At the same time, BetaStax is also a powerful energy booster that has earned ecstatic praise from an expert panel of ProSource testers convened to assess its effectiveness. This energy surge is triggered by a powerful new energy co-factor called sulbutiamine which has the unique ability to cross the blood brain barrier and yield profound effects on wakefulness, memory, focus, while providing an almost euphoric rush. This breakthrough energy co-factor is combined with premium grade methylxanthines along with other potent adrenergic amines for maximal energy output.
BetaStax is an ultimate rarity in the weight-loss category—an original, innovative technology based on cutting-edge research and development, validated by a landmark independent clinical study. If you want explosive energizing power that you can feel within minutes along with rapid weight-loss results that you can see in as little as 2 weeks, BetaStax represents the outer limits in power and efficacy offered by today's science.
Scientific Reference: 1. PureWaySlim(r) Supplementation: Positively Impacting Human Health. Dario Pancorbo M.D., Carlos Vazquez M.D., and Mary Ann Flecther Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
Unique energy booster/appetite suppressor
MHP's product successes usually arise out of intensive, high level research that goes far beyond simple blends and following the format of previously successful formulations. And their highly advanced Dren is a perfect example of this. A rather sparse formulation, this one-per-day neurotropic none-the-less provides signifi cant focus and energy with an appetite suppression effect that easily compares with some of the best in this category. This is accomplished by Dren's advanced, cutting edge mesolimbic beta agonist complex, which includes a synergistic combination of caffeine, L-5 hydroxytryptophan, yohimbine and other support compounds designed to facilitate energy, plus keep serotonin and norepinephrine levels in balance. According to a considerable amount of ProSource customer feedback, this methodology has a potent and lasting energy effect along with substantial hunger relief. A well-conceived and advanced addition to MHP's leading edge formulations, Dren represents a unique and effective product addition that well deserves its place in Best in Class for 2009.
The swiftly evolving Mass Building category has had its share of technological advancements of late, as ultraquick absorbing hydrolyzed proteins, BCAA and KIC based formulations, as well as less traditional approaches to protein synthesis enhancement have all seen surges in popularity due to the higher quality versions being clinically validated and delivering incredible user results. Of course, the creatine-based mass builders still hold revered status among athletes, and for very good reason. Clearly, there is much more to come from these and other emerging breakthroughs in anabolic/anti-catabolic support, nonprotein research methods.
If you're looking to truly maximize your muscle gains, MyoZene is perhaps the single best supplement we can recommend. It is the product that many of the sport's most elite bodybuilders rely on to help add pounds of lean muscle mass in the shortest time possible. MyoZene is unique in that it is the only product of its kind powered by an elite premium protein source previously available only in medical preparations. This specialized protein source is hydrolyzed to such a high degree that it actually mimics your body's own digestive actions. It is not to be confused with standard hydrolyzed proteins because the degree of hydrolysis is so much higher and the speed of absorption is almost instant.
Clinical validation for the efficacy of MyoZene's protein hydrolysate technology has been swift in arriving. In a study presented at a high-profile annual conference of the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine, normal well-experienced weight lifters underwent upper- and lower-body strength testing and body composition analysis, followed by a sixday-per-week split-body-part exercise routine. Test measurements included muscular strength/endurance and key markers of special interest to athletics coaches. Within the test's time frame (one month), the MyoZene-receiving subject group gained 26% to 32% strength/muscular endurance. This is remarkable especially when considering that creatine ingestion or protein alone have resulted in considerably less strength, muscle, and endurance gains in previous studies of those compounds. The MyoZene-drinking subjects (ingesting one serving within 45 minutes of finishing the exercise session) also experienced truly extraordinary gains in lean muscle within just four weeks, and at the same time actually reduced some fat too. Rarely, if ever, has a nutritional technology yielded such power to produce measurable increases in lean muscle in such a short time period.
This electrifying study result represents a clear validation of recent research that suggests that ultra-rapid-action protein hydrolysates are necessary in shutting down catabolism and bolstering muscle anabolism in the extremely short muscle-building time-window after intense workouts. Even as this MyoZene study has become the talk of the latest American College of Sports Medicine conference, top athletes are already making their preferences known with their purchasing decisions. Since its introduction, MyoZene has rapidly emerged as one of the most sought-after products in the quest for extreme muscle growth.
If building muscle is your primary goal, you simply cannot find a more efficient and effective nutritional tool than BioQuest's MyoZene—the ultimate muscle protein synthesizer.
MyoShock: Comprehensive and novel †�Heat Shock†� mass builder
Never ones to rest on their laurels for long, the research and development people at MuscleTech are expanding the parameters (and vocabulary) of mass-building once again with their introduction of the notion of Heat Shock Proteins. MyoShock HSP is designed to increase anabolism by facilitating accelerated protein synthesis and the activation of intracellular growth signals, each in response to the stimulus of elevated body temperatures linked to intense training (hence the †�heat shock†� scientific rationale).
We're always intrigued by the novel mechanisms of action that accompany MuscleTech products, though our first inclination is always to scrutinize the ingredients panel. Here we find free-form L-arginine content for NO-triggered vasodilation and enhanced nutrient delivery, as well as L-glutamine-AKG, which is useful for postponing and reducing post-workout catabolism. We also find an unspecified amount of the well-proven cell-volumizing agent creatine monohydrate. Also included is gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA), which is sometimes linked to support of growth hormone levels, plus 400 mg of caffeine anhydrous. This is an enormous wallop of stimulant content and will certainly spur a significant increase in workout intensity.
Less common ingredients in MyoShock HSP include the Chinese herbs schisandra chinensis (said to support muscle endurance) and paeonia lactiflora (included to help with reducing muscle cramps). Bilberry extract has been included for its vasodilatory action and for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
All of the above compounds have been subjected to MuscleTech's proprietary Nano-Diffuse micronization processing, which is said to speed uptake and increase bioavailability. All in all, MyoShock (which will be appearing on retailers' shelves in early 2009), appears to be a well-rounded, comprehensive addition to MuscleTech's mass-building product line. As always, we'll keep you posted on user feedback.
Aminodrol: Maximum strength anabolic/anti-catabolic mass builder
Since new Aminodrol arrived this last summer, bodybuilders across the country have had new reason to celebrate. Aminodrol is a highly potent anabolic/anti-catabolic complex that provides an ultra high powered spectrum of mass-building compounds designed to target multiple pathways of lean muscle growth. Its formula is similar to—but even more potent than—its predecessor. It goes beyond any powerhouse formulation with the addition of a clinical strength dosage of university-tested L-carnitine L-tartrate, which has been shown to stimulate growth of androgen receptors in muscle tissue. This maximum strength, multi-pathway formula includes the most powerful matrix of anabolic/anti-catabolic compounds of any product available today, including a high level of beta alanine, which has been shown to promote dramatic increases in muscle strength, endurance and recovery, making it a must-use supplement for any serious weight-trainer. As far as amino-based anabolic/anti-catabolic formulations go, it's apparent the new champion has arrived.
Protein, bodybuilding's most essential element, remains the foundation of any mass-gain regimen. Enhanced utilization and increased speed of uptake are all the rage in this category, with the best premium proteins containing ever-increasing amounts of rapid-uptake whey hydrolysates that yield even quicker-absorbing protein fractions for results above and beyond the basic protein. Meanwhile, the latest development has been the advent of a clinically validated weight management whey protein matrix that may be the beginning of a revolutionary muscle support/weight-loss category.
Awarding the top spot in the Premium Proteins category is easier than it has been in previous years because the winner is a protein formula like no other in existence. Vectron� from ProSource is an entirely new type of protein, a truly innovative, first-of-its-kind supplemental protein designed to help athletes get truly ripped while preserving lean muscle.
Vectron is the first and only precision-targeted, bioactive protein matrix to contain Prolibra, a weight management system clinically proven to improve the ratio of lean to fat mass. As such, Vectron has the potential to radically simplify and streamline the traditional †�growth cycle.†� In the past, a handful of technologies have claimed this ability. But none have had the results from independent human clinical trials to validate those claims. Vectron does.
In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial commissioned by the makers of Prolibra and published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking a placebo. That's not a misprint. Subjects achieved these extraordinary results using less than 25 grams per day. That's how potent and effective this protein is. In contrast, literally hundreds of grams of standard proteins have not achieved such extraordinary results in any published data we've seen.
Prolibra's power in promoting lean mass retention is critical for any diet or exercise program because muscle is more metabolically active and may improve calorie expenditure, thus supporting further weight loss. Remarkably, the subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Prolibra is highly exceptional in this regard as no other whey-derived system has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period (not to mention at such a modest daily dose). Remarkably, the Prolibra group, using just 24.4 grams per day lost 6.1% fat, which is a powerful testament to the extraordinary potency of this remarkable supplement.
Additionally, Prolibra appears to help maintain a healthy glycemic response by reducing post-prandial glycemia. In a study conducted by Glycemic Index Laboratories, participants experienced a statistically significant reduction of up to 37.8 glycemic index units when Prolibra was added to a liquid meal. This mechanism of helping maintain already healthy levels of blood sugar in turn may assist appetite control and enhance weight loss. Its remarkable power is supported by three separate clinical trials (two focusing on body composition, and one focusing on glycemic lowering power).
Clearly, Vectron offers the most comprehensive approach to getting truly ripped while retaining hard-earned muscle mass that we've ever seen. As a result, Vectron goes directly to the top of our Premium Proteins ranking.
Monster Milk: High calorie, lower carb performance protein
From the makers of the popular Muscle Milk line, the wide-spectrum Monster Milk is an interesting new entry that bridges the gap between typical weight gainers and slower-release nighttime proteins. It contains a 50-gram matrix featuring isolated milk protein, whey isolates, caseinates, lactoferrin, L-glutamine, glutamine peptides and 5 grams of free form BCAAs. At 350 calories per serving, it'll bulk you up. At the same time, it has lower carbohydrates (17-18 grams) than a typical weight-gainer, and is fairly low in sugar, so non-hard-gainers can consider this protein as a solid option for staving off overnight catabolism, too. Monster Milk also packs a calorically dense serving of healthy fats in the form of sunflower and/or safflower oil, medium-chain triglycerides, canola oil, and CLA. Finally, you'll find one gram of creatine from (Kre-Alkalyn) and 500 mg of Aminogen. On the minus side, Monster Milk is fairly high in sodium (430 mg) and some saturated fats. Summing up, however, Monster Milk packs a wide array of fast- and slow-uptake proteins into a respectably high-impact protein.
The days when eating protein bars was a grim chore are basically over. Today, most are entirely acceptable, and at least one brand manages to rival the best candy bars when it comes to taste. The next challenge was to combine great flavor with premium, highly anabolic protein. A select few companies have raised the bar with elite protein sources and other quality ingredients, while still delivering gourmet taste. Accordingly, the public has responded favorably to those bars that use premium whey isolate, healthy fats and healthier carb profiles.
The most remarkable development in the protein bar marketplace in recent years is the fact that there isn't much competition for the top slot as the category's ideal combination of taste and quality. Supreme Protein's wide margin of superiority is only growing wider as new and even more delicious flavors of the elite-quality, power-packed protein bar take their places on the shelves. Indeed, Supreme Protein's legions of fans have a treat in store for them with the launch of the new Rocky Road Brownie Supreme Protein bar, a terrific crunchy, creamy, vanilla-almond-chocolate departure from the already wildly popular Caramel Nut Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crunch varieties. This scrumptious dessert for hard-working muscles and lean bodies is such a sheer flavorful delight that it easily rises to the high standards of taste set by the original Caramel Nut Chocolate bar. That's quite a feat, since the Caramel Nut Chocolate bar has won 14 major awards since the beginning of the year, including "Protein Bar of the Year" and "#1 Best-Tasting Bar" from major publications and retail associations across the country.
Supreme Protein literally stands alone as the world's only true gourmet protein bar composed of the highest quality protein blend (30 grams, including premium whey isolate). The protein blend in Supreme Protein is so anabolically active that it is the first bar of its kind that we know of that can be eaten immediately post-workout to trigger anabolism and support muscle repair and growth, while helping athletes stay lean. This superior protein content, in and of itself, sets it far apart, but there's more. In fact, a lot more. Supreme Protein contains healthy fats, including flaxseed oil, an excellent spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and zero trans fat.
And then there's the taste. Look at a cross-section of a Supreme Protein bar, and you'll see four distinct layers of flavorful confection that make every bar a treat you'll look forward to throughout the day. Much like its superiority in the protein quality department, Supreme Protein is truly light years ahead of the competition in taste and texture.
As far as we're concerned, all three flavors of the amazingly delicious Supreme Protein mark the evolution of the protein bar into a full-fledged muscle-supporting agent of the first class. Try the new Rocky Road Brownie and see what we mean! Also available in smaller Snack Size.
Macrobolic Bars: High quality protein, meal replacement bar
Products in MHP's high quality line of meal supplements are based around the notion of a preferred ratio of carbohydrates/ proteins/fats calibrated for optimal muscle support, fat utilization, and maintenance of high physical performance. In this case, Macrobolic protein bars follow the same basic formula as the popular meal replacement powders by MHP—a 45/35/20 ratio of carbs, protein and fat that balances good taste with a high quality protein matrix. One important difference in the bars versus the powder though, is the inclusion of milk protein isolate, which actually gives the bars a slight edge in regards to overall protein content. In addition, it contains a good balance of macronutrients and mostly slower-digesting carbohydrates such as polydextrose, which makes for a good pre-workout pick-me-up. On the other hand, the slower-digesting proteins and carbs in this product are not really preferred for a post-workout regimen. With quality macronutrients in preferred ratios aboard, Macrobolic bars are very well suited as a mini-meal for support of mass gains along with more significant protein sources. For a level of quality surpassing most other bars in its league and a thoughtfully designed ratio of carbs, protein and fat, Macrobolic certainly well-earns one of our higher ratings.
Up Your Mass: Big mass gain bar with 45/35/25 ratio
The protein bar with the memorable name has been an instant hit with ProSource customers. This big 100-gram Up Your Mass bar provides a 45/35/25 ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, making it a valuable mealreplacement option for athletes and bodybuilders on the go. Indeed, this specific ratio is most often associated with support of lean muscle growth. The Up Your Mass protein bar recipe is anchored by a respectable †�protein matrix†� formulation consisting of soy protein isolate (a slower-uptake protein particularly rich in glutamine and arginine), milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate and whey protein concentrate. Up Your Mass is also highly uncommon in this category in that it is one of the few bars that does not contain significant amounts of useless gelatin as one of its protein sources.
The carbohydrates, meanwhile, are of the low-glycemic index variety. MHP's carb complex, dubbed a Slow Carb� carbohydrate blend, contains tapioca starch, rice flour, and oat flour that won't unnecessarily spike your blood sugar levels and result in an unwanted energy crash later. In a marketplace that contains more than its share of low-quality bars composed of substandard ingredients, Up Your Mass is one of the few that athletes can eat with confidence. It is, simply put, one of the better protein bars on the market today.
The most notable improvement to meal replacements has been the addition of more health-oriented carbs along with more premium proteins. The few manufacturers who have incorporated these ingredients have (not surprisingly) taken a considerable lead in popularity, leaving a wide margin between the elite and the makers of less desirable MRPs. With the public becoming more health conscious each year, products with complex carbohydrates (oat bran, rice bran) and proteins such as micellar casein for longer satiety and CFM whey hydrolysates for superior utilization are much preferred.
NutriPure Supreme is the premier prototype of a new kind of MRP, one that boasts a number of cutting-edge features that elevate it literally into a category of its own. This delicious, state-of-the-art Super-High Nutrient Repartitioning System is a complex of super-advanced proteins and a superior carbohydrate/fiber/healthy fats profile precision-targeted to drive simultaneous muscle growth and fat loss.
Unlike virtually every other product in the MRP category, NutriPure Supreme contains premium grades of CFM whey isolate and micellar casein, plus whey hydrolysate subjected to an unusually high degree of hydrolysis. This broad spectrum of ultra-rapid, medium- and slow-absorption proteins has the capacity to drive anabolism for many hours at a time. Until the introduction of NutriPure Supreme, it was virtually unheard of to include such elite protein sources in an MRP. In fact, it's the only MRP we've found that contains a high percentage of the elite form of micellar casein protein. This is the same type of specialized protein that made the original Met-Rx so desirable among hardcore bodybuilders back in its heyday (the current generation of Met-Rx no longer includes this very expensive protein source).
At the same time, NutriPure Supreme provides a superior carb blend including complex oat bran and sweet potato powder, which makes for extended energy levels, glycogen replenishment, and satiety. NutriPure also incorporates 7 grams of anabolic lipids per serving from healthy sources (high-oleic sunflower oil, CLA, and flaxseed) and a full compliment of vitamins and minerals for antioxidant protection, energy production and macronutrient assimilation/absorption.
Finallly, a digestive enzyme blend has been added to support maximal use of NutriPure's high-quality protein. This is crucial, since a high-quality complex of digestive enzymes can double or even triple the rate at which whey protein is absorbed, resulting in raised levels of free amino acids and branched-chain amino acid levels (BCAAs).
NutriPure Supreme's superior nutritional profile and unsurpassed quality and flavor literally personify the Best in Class rating. Even as the competition (in many cases) takes a step back, NutriPure Supreme continues to reign virtually unchallenged in the category.
Macrobolic MRP: High quality formula of 45/35/20 ratio
The centerpiece of MHP's highly regarded meal replacement is a 45/35/20 ratio of carbohydrates/proteins/fats that seems sensibly calibrated for optimal muscle support, fat utilization, and maintenance of high physical performance. Indeed, Macrobolic MRP shows a considerable amount of forethought with regard to its quality protein matrix and natural carb complex, both formulated for intended sustained release.
On the protein side, it contains a 32-gram blend of soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein concentrate. These proteins are on the slower-absorption end of the spectrum, delivering extended-interval support, while providing significant amounts of critical amino acids. This blend also contains significant levels of the critical amino acids glutamine, arginine and BCAAs.
Macrobolic's carb matrix consists of low glycemic carbs derived from oats, barley and oat fiber designed to sustain energy, maintain glycogen replenishment, and create a feeling of satiety. Maltodextrin would normally be considered a deficit to any formula, but the amount here is not significant and Macrobolic's carb matrix is overall more complex and slow-absorbing than is typical for this category.
The lipid complex augments the formula nicely with essential fatty acids from superior sources such as borage oil, flaxseeds and evening primrose oil. Macrobolic also provides MCT's (medium chain triglycerides) and CLA, which has been shown to help decrease fat and increase mass.
To complete the package, a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals rounds out its rich nutritional profile. Quality products in this category are few and far between. Macrobolic represents a refreshing change and well deserves its place in the top 3 ranking.
Zero Impact: Blend of slower-absorbing proteins and complex carbs
As its name suggests, Zero Impact is a meal replacement designed to minimize insulin spikes and rapid-protein breakdown (and subsequent post-spike anti-catabolism) by creating an ideal bodily environment for prolonged protein synthesis. To attain this goal, VPX has mostly avoided typically fast-uptake proteins like whey hydrolysates and whey isolates in favor of slower uptake proteins in the form of undenatured micellar casein, HGF (High Growth Factor) whey protein, and egg albumen, with additional L-glutamine and peptide-bonded glutamine. These slow uptake proteins (or †�insulin-stabilizing proteins,†� as VPX calls them) are meant to work consecutively and synergistically over a period of as long as seven hours to prevent muscle-consuming catabolism.
At the same time, Zero Impact contains significant amounts of complex, unrefined carbohydrates, including whole-grain high-protein rice, flax seed meal, oat fiber, oat cereal solids, whole grain barley, oat bran, and rice bran, included specifically to prevent blood sugar spikes. Finally, Zero Impact provides plenty of essential fatty acids and the fat-burning lipids sesamin and CLA. although taste might be an issue for some consumers accustomed to richer, more carb-laden MRPs, fitness-conscious people looking for a dependable, low-glycemic source of essential nutrition will find Zero Impact to be a highly suitable choice.
In the highly competitive T-boosting category, it's all about ingredient quality and advanced processing methods, as a handful of products have emerged as clearly superior. The best products contain high-grade, standardized extracts of Tribulus terrestris that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago. Elevated protodioscin contents in these ultra-pure herbal extracts have delivered clinically validated testosterone enhancements unsurpassed since the days of prohormones. Non-androgenic aromatase inhibitors have made signififi cant technological leaps as well.
It wasn't so long ago that the T-Boosters category was known more for extravagant product claims than for hard, verifiable science. Fortunately, that all changed with the appearance, first of AndroTest, then of AndroTest Extreme. Now, for the first time ever, choosing a truly effective all-natural testosterone-enhancing agent is easy. Simply choose the one with a key primary ingredient that has been clinically validated in a landmark study.
AndroTest Extreme takes the groundbreaking technology that made original AndroTest a revolutionary formulation and ramps up its T-boosting power even further by incorporating the latest and most powerful herbal precursor agent—a specialized fenugreek extract standardized for 50% fenusides and trade-named Testofen�. This potent extract contains steroidal saponins, sapogenins